That was then. Fast forward to today, when I bought BabyG a raisin cookie to keep him entertained whilst I did the shopping. He enjoyed the cookie greatly. He enjoyed it all over his clothes and hair and face, in fact. And as we passed a woman wheeling her newborn in a Bugaboo, delicately wrapped beneath a beautifully embroidered bunny rug, I heard her mutter about never letting her baby get that messy. I had a small chuckle, and realised I have levelled up; I am no longer a "new" mother. For I vowed I'd never let my baby get that messy, either. How else could I tell?
There's slightly sad moments, too. I've already had to shop for BabyG in the boyswear departments in those insane stores that have decided size 1 does not qualify as a "baby". We have survived the first teeth. Oh, I know I have a long way to go. Toilet training is still not on the horizon, the first day of school too distant to contemplate, the first teenage sleepover - well, BabyG will never be that old, surely. I've got a lot to learn, I'm a long way off being a master. But I've levelled up from motherhood "beginner" to "novice", and I get to roll my eyes and smile knowingly at the mother who really just hopes her newborn will always be so untouched and pristine.